Police officer charged with steroid trafficking - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Police officer charged with steroid trafficking

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - A Memphis police sergeant who was named Tennessee Narcotics Officer of the Year for 2006 was charged with selling illegal anabolic steroids and tipping off drug dealers about surveillance and investigations.

Sgt. Brady Valentine, 36, a police officer since 1994, was indicted Friday and relieved of duty after a federal complaint was unsealed.

The complaint was based on information from informants, wire taps and taped conversations. Valentine was assigned to the West Tennessee Violent Crimes and Drug Task Force, a multi-agency team that regularly lands some of the biggest drug busts in the state.

He was honored by his department earlier this year for an interstate drug bust that netted 4.5 pounds of black-tar heroin that led to charges against 80 people in seven states.

He was named the state's top narcotics officer last month at the Tennessee Narcotics Officers Association annual convention in Gatlinburg.

Some two dozen Memphis police officers have been indicted for public corruption since 2004, but Valentine's arrest is particularly troubling to officials because he also held supervisory duties. According to an affidavit, Valentine received regular payments from drug dealers for three years in exchange for assisting the movement of one marijuana shipment per month.

The arrangement ended in 2000 when one of the traffickers' associates was arrested. An informant said Valentine also worked with him in the spring and summer of this year in buying and distributing anabolic steroids.

The affidavit says monitored conversations revealed that on Sept. 9, a drug trafficker told Valentine that a police officer in an unmarked car was following him.

Valentine told the trafficker which officers were on duty, what vehicle they were in and to stay on the phone so he could respond if the trafficker was stopped.

On Sept. 16, a trafficker asked for Valentine's help in a planned delivery of 1,000 "D-ball tablets," or steroids called Dianabol. "I want to know that, hey, I can call you up and hopefully get out of trouble," the trafficker said.

After other similar conversations were monitored by authorities, the trafficker began cooperating on Sept. 26.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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